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NPR Holiday Specials 2001: Hanukkah

NPR celebrates the Jewish winter holiday this year with two special programs: Hanukkah Lights 2001, now in its 11th year, and our new show, Hanukkah: Its Story in Words & Song -- don't forget that this CD is available now in the NPR Shop along with other NPR holiday favorites!

  Browse the NPR Shop's Holiday CD page

Hanukkah Lights 2001
Susan Stamberg  

Hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz, our seasonal favorite begins its second decade by conjuring up imagery of rich traditions -- past and present -- through storytelling. All of the stories are new, commissioned especially for NPR. Hanukkah begins on December 9.

Check your local station for program air times.

Featured Works

Author Anne Roiphe  

"The Demon Foiled" | Anne Roiphe
A modern fable that takes an often wry look at a family gathering touched by big-city politics and how, under the spell of Hanukkah, even political spin can become an enlightening truth. Roiphe is author of the novel Up the Sandbox and National Book Award nominee My Real Life as a Mother.

Author Ariel Dorfman  

"A Candle for Kerala" | Ariel Dorfman
This story brings a Hanukkah miracle to a lonely man in Brooklyn -- an unexpected blessing from a far different culture in a distant corner of the world. Chilean author Dorfman has written numerous works of fiction, plays, poems, essays and films in both Spanish and English. He teaches literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University and is a life-long human rights activist.

Listen to a 1991 interview with Dorfman from NPR's Morning Edition or read a transcript

Author Peter Beagle  

"Hanukkah in Malaga" | Peter Beagle
A poignant memoir of Hanukkah in a Spanish, Catholic household, and of its unexpected gift to a young man exploring life in a world far from home. Beagle, a well-known fantasy author, wrote the children's classic The Last Unicorn in 1968.

Author E.M. Broner  

"After the Disaster" | E.M. Broner
This unique work is a deeply-moving portrayal of the thoughts of children lighting the Hanukkah candles for the first time after September 11. Broner is the author of Bringing Home the Light: A Jewish Woman's Handbook of Rituals, Weave of Women, and The Women's Haggadah.

Author Simone Zelitch  

"The Miracle of the Oil" | Simone Zelitch
A touching fable of inner conflict and the challenges of tolerance. Zelitch is the author of the novel Louisa which recently won the Goldberg Prize from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.

Browse the National Foundation for Jewish Culture Web site

"Perspectives on Hanukkah" | Harry Turtledove
A challenging look at the historical context of the Hanukkah miracle, in light of recent events. Turtledove is a historian and novelist best known as the author of "alternative history" novels. His books include Marching Through Peachtree and Aftershocks, and he edited Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century.

A Note on the Music
All the music used in Hanukkah Lights 2001 is by the clarinettist Giora Feidman and his ensemble. It was taken from the following albums: The Singing Clarinet (Plane 88582), The Incredible Clarinet (Plane 88725), and Yiddish Soul (WDR/World Network 55.836).

Check your local station for program air times.

Hanukkah: Its Story in Words & Song
Actor Leonard Nimoy  

Actor Leonard Nimoy hosts a new version of this holiday classic, featuring performances by a cappella group Western Wind. The story of Hanukkah is told with memorable musical illustrations drawn from the whole range of music history, medieval to modern.

Browse the Western Wind Web site
Browse the NPR Shop's Holiday CD page

Check your local station for program air times.